Has New York Knicks star Julius Randle’s historically bad start to the season finally been explained?
Eight games into the regular season, the New York Knicks have gotten off to an inconsistent 4-4 start. After taking a big step forward in their franchise’s progression last year, there was plenty of hope for the team heading into this season. However, it hasn’t been the start to the season that perhaps many Knicks fans were hoping for.
One of the biggest reasons for the Knicks’ early-season struggles could be linked to the struggles of Julius Randle. As one of the most polarizing players on the Knicks, a historically bad start for Randle did him no favors.
Through the first six games of the season, Randle was averaging just 14 points per game on 27 percent shooting from the field and 23 percent shooting from 3-point range. Even as he’s played a bit better of late, he’s still shooting less than 35 percent from the field and 30 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Up until recently, his struggles were a bit confusing. They were one of the biggest mysteries in the league, until now. According to a recent report, one of the biggest reasons for Randle’s struggles is being chalked up to injury. Per the report, Randle was battling an ankle injury early in the season and refused to rest.
Randle is said to be feeling better as of late and that has been reflected in his play. Nevertheless, it’s certainly something to monitor.
If the Knicks are going to emerge as a real player in the Eastern Conference this season and successfully climb out of this early-season “hole,” they’re going to need a healthy and better version of Randle.
Did Julius Randle hurt the team by refusing to sit?
There’s an argument to be made that perhaps the Knicks would’ve been better off with Randle sitting through the injury. However, Randle is a warrior and has been known for playing through injury in the past – we’ve seen that in each of the last two postseason runs for the Knicks. Similarly, it also resulted in mixed production.
Over the last two games, Randle has begun to play a bit better. It’s too early to say if he’s turned a corner on his early-season struggles, but it is encouraging for the Knicks as they also look to turn the corner on their own struggles as a team.